|Jackie Adams (on right) with tour director, Carol Mazzeo|
Frederick, Maryland’s Jackie Adams added another bullet to her pro tour resume, as she successfully claimed the closing tour title of the 2011 season in the WNDA’s Grand Prix event at AMF Timonium. The year-end tour, held on the weekend of November 5th and 6th, yielded a couple of veterans and a pair of lesser seen faces in recent stepladder competitions, which led to some intriguing matchups.
In the opening contest of the 3-match ladder, Connecticut’s Kristen Robustelli went up against Mt. Airy Maryland’s Cindy McMillen. Robustelli took control early with a hefty offensive in the game’s first half while McMillen struggled to get her ‘sea legs’ at the outset. After leaving a 4-10 split in the first frame, Kristen was extremely impressive for the balance of the game, smothering the headpin while marking in frames 2 through 7. Cindy valiantly answered back in her 6th and 7th frames, but her efforts for a comeback were stymied after chopping out the middle in the critical 8th frame. Robustelli added insurance later in the match to come out as victor, 161-107.
With the semi-final match at hand, the 2nd seed, Jackie Adams was the immediate obstacle for the red-hot Robustelli. Picking up where she left off, the northern starlet opened the game with a strike. But Adams quickly evened the situation with spares in the 2nd and 3rd frames to gain a 2-pin edge after 4 boxes. Robustelli regained a slim 1-pin lead after the 6th, but was beginning to get off track. Every bowler who has ever played the duckpin game has, at one time or another, experienced the transition from being razor sharp to suddenly laboring in a game, and for Kristen, this momentary shift couldn’t have come at a worse time. Three consecutive chops on the first ball in frames 7 through 9 spelled disaster for Robustelli, as the experienced Adams took advantage of the opening with spares in her half of the deciding boxes. An uneventful 10th frame from both players left Jackie as the winner in a 129-106 result, and although the match ended on a sour note for Robustelli, the weekend was a success for the young New Englander.
The championship match was now in the spotlight as the surging Jackie Adams was primed to take on the top seed and 2011 Ladies All-Star champ, Baltimore’s Kristy Penny. Kristy was slow getting out the gate with a 7-box, while Jackie was sharp, despite the misfortune of leaving the 7-10 split, leading to a 10-frame. Adams, now in prime form, was soon rewarded for her spare assault from the prior match. After converting the 2-pin for a spare in the 2nd frame, Jackie broke the match open early with a tenacious triple-header in frames 3 through 5. In the meantime, Penny was struggling but had mustered a spare in the 4th. But her lone mark in the opening block of frames didn’t lead to a spark, as Kristy never got on track as the match ensued. Adams kept her lead by holding wood with “10 frames”. By the 9th frame, the match was decided, as Adams held a prohibitive edge. Penny did rally to save her game with a triple-header in the 9th, 10th, and 11th, but Adams wouldn’t be outdone, as she finished strongly in a 174-138 triumph.
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